BY STEVE ROTHAUS, srothaus@MiamiHerald.com
“The congressman has been incredibly impressive to us. He has worked incredibly hard for full equality for the LGBT community,” said Stephen Handwerk, national board co-chair for Stonewall Democrats Political Action Committee. “It's about leadership, it's about folks standing up and supporting the things they believe in, especially in a time when it's not politically expedient to do so.”
Meek, 43, who has served in Congress since 2002, is running for U.S. Senate in Florida. He is the son of former U.S. Rep. Carrie Meek.
Several national gay groups have given the younger Meek high marks for his support of gay rights.
“He's out in front on ‘don't ask, don't tell’ and working to get that repealed,” Handwerk said.
Meek’s campaign website prominently mentions his commitment to gay civil rights:
“In 2008, Kendrick was endorsed by the Human Rights Campaign, and he received an award from the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund in 2007 for his ‘courageous leadership on behalf of equality for all Americans.’ He supports issues of importance to the GLBT community, including hate crime prevention, employment nondiscrimination, and partner benefits.”
During a conference call with reporters, he spoke out against Florida’s gay adoption ban, the only outright ban in the United States.
“Why should Florida be by itself in denying parents who want to raise kids in foster care,” Meek said, adding that he is “thankful for the endorsement and believe it will make a real difference in the outcome of the primary election and the general election.”
Other Senate candidates include former Miami Mayor Maurice Ferre and billionaire financier Jeff Greene, both Democrats; Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, an Independent; and former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio, a Republican.
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